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Thread: MDF trim quality

  1. #1
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    Default MDF trim quality

    Are all MDF trim brands created equal or is the stuff available at door and trim places of better quality than that at the big box stores. I picked up some samples at North Pole in London and it appears the MDF is somewhat harder that that at HD. Or maybe its just my imagination?
    He who laughs last..............probably didn't get it

  2. #2
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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Almost all of it comes from Chile....so it's safe to say it's all the same. But really, we're talking grades of MDF??
    Paul

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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaP View Post
    But really, we're talking grades of MDF??
    Absolutely there are grades to MDF. It's engineered. This is just Sierra Pines offerings http://www.sierrapine.com/index.php?pid=11

    If you cut open a sheet of MDF you'll notice the outer edges are a fine dense material and the core is coarser material. Cheap MDF skimps on the density of the outer layer. I notice a difference in MDF from Home Depot as compared to MDF from Commonwealth or McFaddens. It takes an extra coat or two to finish the HD MDF.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
    Or maybe its just my imagination?
    I don't think so. It's been awhile since I used MDF trim from either of those suppliers but if memory serves me correctly North Poles is fatter, crisper and heavier.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Ottawa Paul, most definitely different grades in sheet MDF. Some of the big box stuff is almost like cardboard, hard to finish and splits easily when edge screwed. In my limited experience I have found a product called Ranger board (not sure of the maker) to be far superior to any BB offerings.
    He who laughs last..............probably didn't get it

  6. #6
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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Ranger Board is manufactured by West Fraser Mills in Quesnel, BC. I have been buying it from Mcfaddens and the machined edges require no special treatment. A while back I needed a sheet on a weekend and went to HD. The edges took 3coats of primer to seal before I could apply a top coat A while back I was picking up trim a County Heritage in South London. They had one corner of their warehouse stacked with bundles of mdf trim and it was from Chile.

    I dislike mdf and refuse to use it as long as I can buy paint grade poplar at TOWNSEND or G and L trim for just a bit more and it is a full 3/4 inch thick

    Brian
    Last edited by Brian @ Muir; 04-27-2012 at 01:14 AM.
    " It is nice to be important but more important to be nice"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
    Ottawa Paul, most definitely different grades in sheet MDF. Some of the big box stuff is almost like cardboard, hard to finish and splits easily when edge screwed. In my limited experience I have found a product called Ranger board (not sure of the maker) to be far superior to any BB offerings.
    I realize the difference in Ranger board vs HD, once you use it there's no comparison. But were not talking about sheet goods, we're talking about trim. All I'm saying is mdf trim for the most part is all the same from my experience.
    Paul

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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Both HD and North Pole carry Alexandria mouldings. I would expect these to be the same unless HD has the Alexandria mouldings made to their spec. They would certainly have the purchasing power to do that

    North Pole also carries a line from a company named Mouldings and millwork which has their own MDF manufacturing plants in Canada http://www.mouldingandmillwork.com/contact_us.php

  9. #9

    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
    Are all MDF trim brands created equal or is the stuff available at door and trim places of better quality than that at the big box stores. I picked up some samples at North Pole in London and it appears the MDF is somewhat harder that that at HD. Or maybe its just my imagination?
    Most of the stuff is comparable, and not MDF, but LDF (Low Density Fiberboard). I live near a fiberboard plant. I have come across some stuff that doesn't qualify as LDF, not from this plant. I believe that the term for it is CRAP. Once bitten, twice shy.

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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    A lot of posts concerning MDF and many opinions thought I'd post this info so everyone could have the oportunity to gain some insight. http://tinyurl.com/6tojsaz

    Bill R

  11. #11
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    Default Re: MDF trim quality

    Quote Originally Posted by dave_k View Post
    Both HD and North Pole carry Alexandria mouldings. I would expect these to be the same unless HD has the Alexandria mouldings made to their spec. They would certainly have the purchasing power to do that

    North Pole also carries a line from a company named Mouldings and millwork which has their own MDF manufacturing plants in Canada http://www.mouldingandmillwork.com/contact_us.php

    I've used a lot of trim in my business, and I have to agree that there seems to be different qualities of MDF on the market.

    I had a dissappointing experience with the crown from mouldingandmillwork. Too bad, I really like their operation - and excellent service. I found that the material seemed soft, and unfortunately it was stored standing up. This meant that it took on a "curve" as the back side of the material absorbed the humidity in the air, as it was stored outside in the warehouse.

    It is an issue with MDF trim - it's a sponge! well not quite, but you definitely have to store it in the client's house for a few days to acclimatise (sp?) and shrink. I've had one situation where a gap opened up slightly over 1/8" inch - bad!

    I use the trim from my local Windsor Plywood, and yes it's from Chile. It's also stored flat, so I am not fighting the "memory" bend in the pieces during installation. For some reason it seems to be harder, and a bit easier to work with.

    It's still MDF though, and while I prefer to use poplar ultimately it's my clients who decide what material they'd like. The real wood is quite a bit more expensive.

    MDF also takes the Lee Valley super glue really well for those times when you have cut something exactly 1' short. Ain't saying how I know that

    don't get me started on that pre-painted stuff!!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Last edited by MrMac204; 04-29-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: add words to further confuse the issue

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